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[casi] US/Turkey secret negotiations?

Another Western betrayal of Kurds...?  pg
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey, March 29 (UPI) -- It appears American officials are
still negotiating fiercely behind the scenes for continued basing rights in
southern Turkey.
Although there's no official confirmation, U.S. transport helicopters
painted desert camouflage Saturday were ferrying people and equipment from
Incirlik Air Base on the coast to an air strip in Kiziltepe originally meant
to be a forward communication and command post for U.S. troops going into
northern Iraq, according to a U.S. contractor at the base who declined to be
The contractor was called in by the U.S. military to install communication
equipment, including phone voice and data lines.

"Site preparations" continue at the Kiziltepe base, said Major Judith
Gardner, a spokeswoman for U.S. forces theater support and communications in
northern Iraq from Incirlik. Journalists are not allowed on the base because
of "Turkish sensibilities," Gardner said.

"We are doing site preparations here for the last few weeks," Gardner said.
"Given Turkish constraints, we've been quiet, but I think that will change
in the next two to four days."
An estimated 3,500 troops are supported by about 350 vehicles, the U.S.
contractor said. Green-painted Humvees and other trucks and equipment are
parked near the base's gate.

The Turkish parliament earlier this month rejected a U.S. plea to allow U.S.
troops to use Turkish soil to go into Iraq from the north, although it
agreed to let U.S. planes fly through Turkish airspace.
Turkey Friday temporarily closed its airspace to U.S. fighter jets after
four pieces of what appeared to be a Tomahawk missile fell near Sanliurfa in
southern Turkey. Last week two other missiles apparently fell off of U.S.
war planes. While there were no injuries reported, the incidents were widely
reported in the Turkish press.

Basing rights will run through the beginning of May, said Joe Pennington, a
U.S. embassy spokesman based in Ankara. He confirmed that negotiations are
continuing to allow more U.S. troops in Turkey.
"What they're talking about is ways to deal with northern Iraq," Pennington
said of the negotiations late Friday.

The U.S. military apparently has decided not to wait for Turkey to open its
northern border. Military hardware in Turkey to support the 4rth Mechanized
Infantry division has been put on a ship to be offloaded in Kuwait. And
about 1,000 troops from the 173rd Airborne division parachuted into northern
Iraq Thursday morning from a U.S. base in Vicenza, Italy.

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